Well, maybe not all of the British. Just one middle-aged English writer. Sorry to disappoint you. But I’d still suggest you lock up your sons and husbands. I have a roaming eye and appreciate sexy blokes. Especially if they have a nice bum.
I think this was how my British Invasion workshop bit was sold –
UK Author, Susan Mac Nicol, has crossed the big pond and an entire continent, to dish about all things British. Whether you’re writing Regencies, Victorians, or want a contemporary British setting, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to talk to a ‘local’ about locations, characters, history, food…and even the proper spellings to keep your reader engaged.
Okay, well everyone knows we speak the Queens English over here *ahem* and have some strange customs and swear words. You’ll have noticed them in my books. Wanker, tosser, effing idiot (f*cking idiot), pavement instead of sidewalk, ‘I’m going to spend a penny’ meaning you’re going to the loo, (the toilet), arse instead of ass, pecker instead of penis- the possibilities to bamboozle you are endless. You can check out a lot more here.
So as well as the colloquialisms, the slang, the differences in words to mean other things in the US like trainers for sneakers, aeroplane for airplane, we also have cultural differences and a more sedate way of doing things. A cup of tea as everyone knows is the ultimate solace to anyone. It doesn’t matter whether you drink coffee, when you are here you should drink tea. We also talk about the weather a lot, and love to stand in queues. The Brits are renowned for this. We’re too damn polite for our own good. We get hysterical at the first sign of a snow flake and rush out to panic buy goods you’d expect to only see during a Zombie Apocalypse.
We’ve been told we’re an eccentric lot, at times downright ‘barmy’. It’s a badge we all wear with pride and honour.
To sum up, we can be a strange, patriotic, self-deprecating and sometimes completely unintelligible lot, depending on what dialect we’re speaking. I confess I struggle with Scottish, Irish and Welsh dialects myself as well as some of the English ones. It’s no shame to simply nod your head and agree with everything the person says, believe me. I come from South Africa and over there we call the old ‘floppy discs’ for the computer, ‘stiffy discs’. Imagine my embarrassment when I stood up in a boardroom full of men in high places to do a presentation and asked someone to ‘pass me the stiffy please’. Yep. That really happened. I swear my lady boss snorted out all her coffee over the board table. The men simply stared with gaping jaws.
So, I’m here to answer your questions about culture, endearments, spelling, any other quirky Brit stuff and even expand on our customs and geography if you fancy. So you don’t make a fool of yourself as I did.
Use me and abuse me. Go on. And when we’re done, meet me for tea and scones. It’s the British thing to do.